Beyond Curved Rings
Saturn's rings appear curved in this Cassini spacecraft view, which also shows the moon Janus in the distance.
Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is at the bottom of the image and is farther from the spacecraft than the rings are. Near the top of the image the rings appear curved because this view was captured using the narrow-angle camera to show a portion of the rings off the ansa and because Cassini is very near the ringplane.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 4 degrees below the ringplane. Several background stars are visible.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 20, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Janus. Image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute